In January 2013, NVIDIA unveiled its first end-to-end consumer product: NVIDIA Shield. In our review, I wrote, "NVIDIA Shield is a truly strange device" One year later, that statement stands -- only now it applies to NVIDIA's second consumer product as well: the Shield tablet. Okay, okay, Shield Tablet isn't quite as bizarre as the original Shield, but it's a close second.

Shield Tablet dumps the original Shield's 5-inch screen in favor of a bigger 8-inch, 1080p display, swaps the original Tegra 4 in favor of K1 and drops the controller bit entirely. Should you wish to pair a controller with Shield Tablet -- and NVIDIA thinks you should -- the company's making one (it's even got WiFi Direct for lower latency than Bluetooth), but it's totally optional and doesn't come packed in with the tablet. So, what is this thing? Who is it for? And is it any good? Let's find out.

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FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga

Many are referring to the 2014 World Cup as the best of the modern era -- think: since Korea/Japan in 2002. Was it due to the fact it set an incredible amount of viewing records? Or, perhaps, it has to do with how much social networks made the entire experience that much more enjoyable. After all, who could forget all the great memes and Tumblr accounts? The level of play wasn't bad either, with this year's tournament leaving behind formidable memories of great individual (Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil, Tim Howard against Belgium) and team (Germany's 7-1 thrashing of Brazil) performances. There's a reason why the sport is nicknamed "The Beautiful Game." Thankfully, football doesn't stop here. While we wait for the next World Cup, which Russia will host in 2018, here's how you, the new (or old) fan, can keep up with some of the professional leagues from across the globe.

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As one of the Blocks smartwatch team reminded us today, modularity has played an integral role in modern computing. A desktop PC is only a collection of components, after all, which can swapped out and upgraded based on what you need from that particular machine (a process Razer hopes to simplify with Project Christine). Recently, Google and others have been working out how to bring the same level of customization to the smartphone. With smartwatches and fitness trackers a burgeoning tech category, both in terms of consumer interest and product development, the Blocks team sees no reason why wrist-worn technology can't benefit from being modular, too. It's in the process of creating such a gadget and today we caught up with the team at a London event, hosted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, to talk about its progress and check out an extremely early prototype.

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Android Wear, Google's new platform for wearables, is fascinating stuff. We got to see a lot of it yesterday, but we didn't get to spend a lot of time with the user interface itself because the watches were on retail mode -- a limited version of the firmware. This is no longer a problem, as Samsung demoed its brand new Wear-laden smartwatch, known as the Gear Live, for Engadget. Once you're done checking out our walkthrough of the UI below, we recommend you also take a closer look at our other coverage of Android Wear devices from yesterday. In the meantime, however, head below for a photo gallery and five-minute tour of Google's new platform.

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By releasing a Developer Preview of the next version of Android (only known as "L" for now), Google is walking new ground -- and it's blazing a glorious path that will greatly benefit the platform going forward. Developers and manufacturers will no longer be in the dark for upcoming firmware updates; by making a preview available, Google is giving its valued partners and third-party devs the opportunity to prepare their apps and services for the forthcoming refresh, which is due out sometime this fall.

This may not eliminate fragmentation (in which a vast majority of users are on old -- and different -- versions of Android) entirely, but it should reduce it significantly. Imagine, if you will, the day when Google officially releases the L update; how nice would it be if your six-month-old phone got it that very same day, rather than months later (if at all)? It seems like such a simple concept, yet this is exactly what Android users have put up with for years.

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Meet Google's answer to Apple's CarPlay: Android Auto. It's a new platform announced today at the annual orgy of software and hardware development known as Google I/O, and it puts the (almost) full power of Android in your car. Why almost? Well, despite the fact that the system leverages your smartphone to power your car's infotainment system, you don't get access to all your apps. It has a limited selection of options that are suitable for use on the road and optimized for an in-dash interface, and I got to see several of them in action in an Audi S3.

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Samsung's Gear Live and LG's G Watch have already been manhandled today at Google I/O 2014, and now it's time to do the same to the third inaugural Android Wear device, the Moto 360. We've already heard much about the watch's unique circular design and have gotten some sneak peeks at the various watch faces that are coming to take advantage of it. Today, however, I finally got my mitts on one, and I can assure you it's as well put together in person as the press shots have shown previously.

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LG believes it's hip to be square, and it created a smartwatch to prove it. The G Watch was announced alongside Android Wear, Google's new wearables platform, and the circular Moto 360 this March. After three months, LG and Google are finally ready to let me slip one on my wrist. The watch is going to be available for pre-order for $229 (update: preorders are live here) on the Play Store alongside the Samsung Gear Live (and Moto 360, once it comes out later this summer), and will ship out in both black and white to eager users on July 7th.

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Here at Google's yearly developer conference, we just learned a whole lot more about Android Wear, the company's OS tailored to wearables. With that info came word that Samsung's rolling out the newest member of the Gear family, the Live, and I just laid my hands and eyes on one firsthand. Problem is, the smartwatch was only running Android Wear in "retail mode." That means that I couldn't actually explore the ins and outs of Android Wear, but I did get to strap the newest member of Samsung's wrist-worn family on my arm.

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It was only a matter of time before Amazon launched a smartphone. In the past 10 years, the company's extended its reach from the online realm into physical hardware, and after the addition of the Fire TV recently, the smartphone was the last major device genre it hadn't explored. Amazon's filled that void with the Fire phone, an AT&T-exclusive smartphone that ships in late July for just under $200. CEO Jeff Bezos spent over an hour on stage discussing the new phone's litany of features and how its uniqueness gives it an advantage over most other handsets the Fire phone will compete with. It's true: No other devices have six cameras and quick access to tech support, and features like Firefly and Dynamic Perspective help give the device a flavor of its own.

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With Vertu finally offering an up-to-date luxury phone, we naturally had to check out the Signature Touch up close and personal. After all, it's not everyday that one gets to play with a $21,900 phone for free (though you can do so at any Vertu boutique, as long as you're nicely dressed). For those who haven't caught up with the announcement, we're looking at a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, 64GB of storage, 13MP/2.1MP cameras, a 2,275mAh battery, Qi wireless charging, NFC and a handful of LTE bands. With the exception of the battery (which, to be fair, is already much larger than those on previous models), these are all very decent for an Android 4.4 device.

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HTC's betting big on its recently unveiled E8 by pricing it almost half as much as the similarly-specced M8 in China, so naturally, we had to check it out for the sake of curiosity. To our surprise, the plastic body was quite solid -- more so than the Desire 816 -- and felt good thanks to the ergonomic curves on the back. The design also looked better in real life than in the official renders, though only time will tell how scratch-proof that glossy body is. Slower camera and lack of TV remote feature aside, the E8 is easily a steal given the near-identical guts as the M8 (Snapdragon 801, 5-inch 1080p screen, microSD expansion and more) plus the reassuring build quality; and there's even a hilariously large limited edition packaging that doubles as a mood light -- check it out in our video after the break.

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While Samsung has been a loyal proponent of Android for quite some time, it's also spent the past few years cooking up its own open-source mobile operating system called Tizen. After several prototypes and revisions, the company finally saw fit to unveil the Samsung Z -- its first ever Tizen smartphone -- a couple of days ago. It was easily the star of the show at the Tizen developer conference here in San Francisco, so we were eager to take it for a spin.

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Not that you'd know from its formulaic product name (seriously, Acer, you've gotta switch things up), but the 5-inch Liquid E700 Android smartphone has an interesting feature geared toward travelers: three SIM slots. Dual-SIM phones are one thing, but why would anyone need space for three? Acer envisions you having separate work and personal cards, with trips abroad requiring one more. And though it's mostly a matter of convenience -- you can keep your home SIM in the phone while also popping in one at your international destination -- the setup has the side benefit of preventing you from losing any cards as well.

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Computex hasn't even officially started, and we're already blown away by ASUS' rather eccentric Transformer Book V from this morning. The name doesn't tell the whole story; it's actually a Windows 8.1 hybrid laptop that lets you dock an Android phone on its back -- a bit like the PadFone concept, except the tablet has its own brain. That's right, you can use both the 12.5-inch tablet and the 5-inch LTE phone simultaneously with their own brains. When docked, you're shown the phone's live Android phone interface within Windows (as pictured above), but you can also toggle the full Android tablet interface. It's easily the most versatile product we've seen of late, but is it practical?

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